Lokum Recipe (Turkish Delight)

Turkish Delight lokum cubes coated with cornstarch and powdered sugar in a black rectangular pan

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4 from 2 reviews

Turkish Delight Lokum in two ways: Plain and stuffed with pistachio.


  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 and ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 and ¼ cup corn starch
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 500ml water (2 cups)
  • 2 tsp red or pink food coloring, optional
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater, optional


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup corn starch


  • ½ cup ground pistachio
  • 1 tsp almond oil for brushing the parchment


  1. Decide on the pan before starting. It should be a deep one to give your Turkish delight enough thickness. I used a 24x15 cm (9x3 inches) pan for these measurements. Line it with parchment paper and brush it with almond oil. Why almond oil? It doesn’t have a strong taste, so you will not feel it when eating your Turkish delights.
  2. Make the sugar syrup. Combine lemon juice, sugar and 250ml water in a deep pot on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil over high heat and then let it continue boiling over medium low heat until it reaches 260F/126C on a candy thermometer, for 10-15 minutes. Read the cold water test tip below if you don’t have a candy thermometer.
  3. Meanwhile, make the cornstarch paste in a second pot. Combine cream of tartar, cornstarch and remaining 250ml water until smooth. Cook it over medium high heat whisking constantly so that there aren’t any lumps until it looks like a white paste. 
  4. When the sugar syrup reaches 260F/127C, remove it from heat. And slowly add the syrup into the cornstarch mixture, whisking continuously until it is completely combined. 
  5. Now reduce the heat to the lowest and cook it for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken and get a golden color with a gluey texture.
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in the flavoring (rosewater if you use it) and the food coloring. Transfer it into the prepared pan and quickly spread it evenly with a silicone spatula. You should work fast at this step. Let it sit overnight uncovered at room temperature. The top should be hard at the end of this time. Wait it longer if it's still soft or sticky.
  7. For A Classic Plain Turkish Delight: Combine powdered sugar with corn starch in a bowl. Sprinkle it over the counter. Transfer the lokum mixture on the counter. Dust scissors(works better than a knife) with this mixture and cut it first into strips and then into cubes. Roll them in the same starch mixture.
  8. For A Pistachio Stuffed Version: Take mixture from the pan with the parchment under it. Roll it out just like a regular dough. Don't make it very thin. Put ground pistachio on one end and roll it up tightly. Coat it with the powdered sugar and starch mixture and cut it with scissors. Roll them in the same mixture and serve.


Cold Water Test: Put cold water in a bowl. Drop a spoon of sugar syrup into it. It will form a hard ball in the water. It shouldn’t be flattening when you take it out of the water but should be flexible to shape when you gently press it in your fingers. If it doesn’t form that hard ball, it means you need to boil it longer.